You can’t keep a good ‘stockie’ down
Now into his 58th year in the industry, Rob jokes that he’s been recycled a couple of times and most recently has been rejuvenated by the energy of young, up-and-coming WA company, Westcoast Wool & Livestock.
“With a great leadership team and a growing number of young staff, Westcoast has a really strong brand and it’s getting stronger,’’ Rob says.
“As the wool business has grown, producers have wanted the company to get involved with their livestock and it’s a growing force in the livestock industry.’’
He says he is once again enjoying building on the relationships with growers and working with other “comrades’’ across the company to support producers. He is particularly assisting farmers throughout the Denmark, Walpole and surrounding areas.
Raised in Brunswick, Rob followed the family bloodline into Goldsbrough Mort, starting as an office boy in Bunbury at the age of 15 in 1962.
He has worked with a number of livestock companies throughout the South West, mainly based from Mount Barker since the 1970s and now at Walpole. There were also stints with a couple of abattoirs in between his time on the rails.
Rob was the first Elders cattle assessor for CALM in WA and while he supports the AuctionsPlus system today, he says he’s still a “saleyard fan’’.
Over the journey, Rob says the swings in the sheep industry have been particularly strong to observe, and with numbers now significantly reduced and greater areas devoted to cropping in the Lower Great Southern.
“I have seen a few lows in the sheep market – the drought in ’72-73; in ’82 at Boyup Brook we were selling sheep for $1 a head; and then in 1990 we had the flock reduction scheme and growers were shooting their sheep. We were selling heavy wethers for $2 a head. The same sheep today are worth $200,’’ he says.
Rob can be contacted on 0428 929 789.